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June 30, 2005

Grokking Grokster

Personally, I can't. Make much sense of MGM et al. v. Grokster et al., that is. There seems to be a fair bit of disagreement within the legal blogosphere as to the long-term repurcussions of the decision. Most commentators I've seen tend to find that the Supreme Court (aka The Supremes) declined to either strengthen or enervate the Sony Betamax standard for the digital era and focused mostly on the behavior (especially the marketing plans) of Grokster and Streamcast.


  • P2P file sharing wasn't found to be substantially infringing
  • Nor was it found to be substantially non-infringing

There's all sorts of arguments about vicarious infringement versus active inducement and whether the Supremes took elements from patent law and created a new standard for copyright law and speech vs. behavior and etc.

The Library Copyright Alliance is not unhappy about the outcome. I simply hope that companies working on new and existing models of content distribution don't feel the need to prove their respect for copyright by locking all of their products down with DRM ...

June 25, 2005

Macs @ ALA

I need to get to my first session, but ... I stopped by the Internet lounge and lo and behold, what do I find ... a single Mac in a sea of Windows boxes. Guess which computer I managed to get to check my email?

It's a good harbinger. Plus, there's free coffee right behind me. Thank you, TLC (sponsor of the Internet Cafe).

June 23, 2005

Public roundtables on orphan works

From the Copyright Office:

Copyright Office Announces Public Roundtable Discussions on Orphan Works

The Copyright Office will hold public roundtable discussions regarding orphan works later this summer. The cities and dates for the discussions are as follows:

Washington, D.C.
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Berkeley, California
(hosted by the Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California
at Berkeley)
Tuesday, August 2, 2005

Specifics will be released later as a formal notice in the Federal Register and via the Office's website. I was planning on going on a mini-vacation the week of August 1st, but this might be worth staying in town an extra day or two to catch the Boalt Hall event.

Sked + a very late offer

I finally have a working conference schedule.

Oh man, it's pretty horrible. Too many conflicting events. Too much bouncing from one venue to another.

And having reviewed my schedule, I realized that I'm not going to be spending a lot of time in McCormick Place until Monday, and I don't plan to lug my laptop around that day. So, I don't really need to purchase wireless.

However, if there's someone out there who's been reluctant/unable to purchase wireless access ... let me sponsor you. Respond to this post before 10 p.m. PDT with your email address. I'll email you and we can exchange cellphone digits. When I go to register on Friday afternoon, I'll purchase the wireless and will pass on the ID and password onto you. This isn't a sharing plan; I won't use the wireless and I don't expect you to pass it on to all of your friends. I get to help show support for ALA negotiating discounted wireless at its conferences without wasting it because I'm only in the building for 2-3 hours of the day.

I apologize that I couldn't do this earlier ... but that schedule ... oy.

June 22, 2005

Tasting Chicago

Sometimes, it's the "little things" that set me off the most. I don't expect a lot of people to feel the way I do about the situation below, but I'm not alone, so I felt compelled to speak out. Thanks to Jessamyn for helping me sound less like the spastic crank that I am ...

To the editors of American Libraries,

When one of us found the Tastes of Chicago article in the June/July 2005 issue of American Libraries, we looked forward to finding recommended restaurants to try while attending the Annual Conference. Unfortunately, we were unpleasantly suprised by the pricing key. The lowest rung of the range "($) = Entrees under $20" is steep for attendees who are on limited travel budgets. As people who are taking on significant financial burdens to attend Annual, we found the listings, and the assumption of what is inexpensive, to be infuriating and insulting.

Surely there are establishments beyond fast food and concession stands that don't require stretching the bounds of our bank accounts or accruing credit card debts. The editors and staff of American Libraries must be familiar with such options in their own city. So why risk alienating unemployed librarians, students, lower-paid librarians and support staff, and anyone else paying their own way to the conference by not taking their needs into account, or worse, making an empty gesture of doing so? It is particularly galling that, as ALA-APA fights to improve library services (and library worker salaries) and recruit new members to the profession, AL ignores the needs of economically-disadvantaged members.

We are bitterly disappointed and sorrowful that AL does not seem to represent and reflect our concerns as a professional resource.

Eli Edwards
Newark, CA

Jessamyn West

June 21, 2005

AAP vs. Google: Round 2

First, there was a letter from the American Association of University Presses, raising concerns about Google's interpretation of fair use to digitize copyrighted works without clearing permissions first.

Now, the Association of American Publishers has requested that Google stop scanning books by AAP members for 6 months while copyright issues are worked out.

The Association of American Publishers has asked Google to stop scanning copyrighted books published by the association's members for at least six months while the company answers questions about whether its plan to scan millions of volumes in five major research libraries complies with copyright law.

Allan R. Adler, vice president for legal and governmental affairs at the publishing group, said in an interview on Monday that the association made its request in a letter, sent June 10, that stopped short of calling for a "cease and desist" of Google's Library Project.

"We've simply asked for a six-month moratorium to facilitate discussion" in an environment "where there isn't going to be the tension of ongoing practices that some of our members may object to."

As of Monday, Google had not directly answered AAP, but according to the Chron, the company believes its activities fall within fair use for the material from UMich and Stanford that is still under copyright. Right now, these requests have called for voluntary action (or inaction) on Google's part. Are cease&desist letters next? Are the publishers' associations building a paper trail for formal (i.e. legal) action?

I don't think I risk too much by admitting that I think the associations are covering all the bases in case they want to take Google to court. But I have two questions in mind for the future:

1) Before calls of injunctions or infringement are made, what sort of compromise can/might be worked out between the content owners (and their reps) and Google?


2) What will the role of libraries (especially UMich and Stanford, but including the full force of the library community) be in intermediating or negotiating a possible compromise?

I'm sure there will be much, much more to watch and listen and consider as the project moves forward.

ILS consolidation

There are going to be some fun vendors' roundtables at ALA:

ILS Vendors Sirsi and Dynix To Merge

Sirsi Corporation and Dynix Corporation—the second largest and largest ILS vendors—announced this morning that they will merge. The new SirsiDynix, which will be the largest ILS vendor by far, will continue full development and support of both Sirsi’s Unicorn and Dynix’s Horizon 8.x/Corinthian.

Planning is underway to integrate worldwide operations between the two companies. As SirsiDynix, the company will have approximately 4000 installations around the world, with over 20,000 library outlets. In 2004, Dynix led the industry in new sales, followed closely by Sirsi, which tied for second with Innovative Interfaces. Both companies are privately held; terms were not disclosed.

Patrick Sommers, Sirsi’s CEO, described the new company as a "merger of equals." Sommers will step up to become CEO of SirsiDynix while Jack Blount, Dynix’s CEO, will be retained as a consultant.

June 20, 2005

USA PATRIOT Act study results

The results are in for ALA-OITP's study on the USA PATRIOT Act and libraries:

U.S. law enforcement officials have made at least 200 formal and informal inquiries to libraries for information on reading material and other internal matters since October 2001, according to a study that adds grist to the growing debate in the U.S. Congress over the government's counterterrorism powers.

In some cases, agents used subpoenas or other formal demands to obtain information like lists of users checking out a book on Osama bin Laden. Other requests were informal and were sometimes turned down by librarians who chafed at the notion of turning over such material, said the American Library Association, which commissioned the study.

The association, which is pushing to scale back the government's powers to gain information from libraries, said its $300,000 study was the first to examine a question that was central to a House of Representatives vote last week on the USA Patriot Act: how frequently federal, state and local agents are demanding records from libraries.

More details about the survey and its results should be available at the ALA Washington Office Breakout Session I at Annual on Saturday, June 25, 10:30 A.M. - 12:00 P.M. at the Sheraton Chicago Room: Chicago BR VIII-X.


Hey, kids! Planning on bringing your laptop to Chicago this weekend? Interested in wifi possibilities? You're in luck!

From Karen Schneider:

For those of you who want to purchase wi-fi at McCormick Center, the discounted wireless access ($25 for the conference, June 24-29) will be available directly through the conference services desk, where they will have a block of IDs and passwords. I think this is a new enough offering that you shouldn't see long lines.

As the unofficial Wi-Fi Councilor, I'd like to hear post-hoc how easy it was to get and use, where the hot/cold spots were, whether you would have preferred getting it also/instead of at a key conference hotel, and if you'd like to pay for this as a registration form check-off for future conferences.

For those of you anticipating spending much of your time at the conference hotels or a few of the many casual dining establishments, the ALA wiki has a WiFi page with numerous links to free wifi hotspots in Chicago.

This may all be academic for me, unfortunately, because my Heloise, my hard drive, seems to have come down with a case of rheumatic fever. Off to the Apple Store tonight ...

June 17, 2005

Check this out ...

Jessamyn already has the links and has already started parsing out the details for us, but you should get your own copy of the contract between Google and UMich [PDF file] for the digitization of its collections here.

This is due, supposedly, to a FOIA request. Yay for sunshine. And if you're planning on attending any of the many sessions devoted to the Google Dig at ALA Annual, you may want to print out and annotate a copy to refer to for the Q&A portions.

June 16, 2005

Thank you, Bernie

For those of you who have supported the Freedom to Read Protection Act, you may want to thank Rep. Sanders and your congressional rep., if they voted for it yesterday.

From ALA's Washington Office:

[P]lease take a moment today to thank [your Representative] for their efforts to protect the rights of library users and bookstore patrons. Please also take a moment today to thank Representative Sanders, who continues to be a true champion for library user rights. You can find contact information and send e-mails directly to your members of Congress through the Legislative Action Center.

Any idea of Sanders likes chocolate? If so, I think the man has earned some Scharffenberger ...

June 15, 2005

SLA Notes: Ratios, Percentages and Statistics, Oh My!

Ratios, Percentages and Statistics, Oh My!
Wednesday - June 8, 2005
7:00 - 8:30 A.M.

John Martin - St. Petersburg Times
Steve Doig - Knight Chair, Computer Aided Reporting, Kronkite School of Journalism, Arizona State University

John Martin:
Topics -
* State of newsroom math skills
"The media's sloppy use of numbers about the incidence of accidents or disease frightens people and leaves them vulnerable to journalistic hype, political demagoguery and commercial fraud." - Max Frankel, 1995, NY Times
Most-repeated definition of a journalist: a do-gooder who hates math
Contributing factors to poor math skills in newsrooms:
- curricula of journalism schools not including math/stat courses
- math anxiety
- hubris
- newsroom training, or lack thereof
- as the editors go, so goes the newsroom
Core newsroom math skills:
- Basic arithmetic
- Ability to calculate percentages and ratios
- Knowing the difference between mean and median
- Understanding margins of error

* Common math mistakes
When calculating percent change, not changing the formula if you're looking at a % increase or a % decrease
Attempting to combine heterogeneous statistics or compare percentages with different bases
Not understanding the difference between percent change and percentage points
Confusing "times more" and "times as many"
* Fundamental facts
- No percentage makes sense unless you know its base
- Understanding mean, median and mode:
mean: simple average (but can be skewed by extremes at either end of a set of values)
median: the middle values in a group
mode: the most commonly recurring value
* What reporters should do?
- Keep copy numbers-free
- Keep number of digits in a paragraph below 8
- Round off -- a lot
- Memorize common numbers on a beat
- Use devices/metaphors from everyday life
- Learn to think in ratios
- Learn from one another
* What is the role for librarians?
- News librarians: the bartenders of the newsroom - listen to reporters' frustrations
- Avoiding Chicken Little syndrome: don't be too melodramatic in demonstrating the need for math training in the newsroom
- Virtue of the Dog and Pony show: make training into a formal event
- Marketing, marketing, marketing
- You can lead a journalist to training, but you can't make 'em think

Steve Doig:
Why math? -- We make too many stupid mistakes; to be a good journalist, you must be good at math, but the good news is that it's only 6th grade math
How to do math -

* Comparing new and old values (i.e. percent change)
[(NEW / OLD) - 1] X 100
This formula covers percent increases AND decreases
Beware of base changes
Beware of small bases/figures

* Rates
number of events per some standard unit (per capita; per 100,000; etc.)
Use to compare places of different size in terms of crime rates, accident rates, etc.: # of events / population X per unit

* Consumer Price Index (CPI)
Use the CPI to convert for inflation when comparing old and new prices/income/etc.:
price now / price then = CPI now / CPI then

* Basic newsroom statistics
- Maximum, minimum and range
- Mean/average
- Median - sort the values and find the middle one
- Mode - most commonly used values

* Weighted averages: don't average averages

* Public opinion surveys
- Survey vs. census: a survey is a random sampling of a population; a census is the count of the entire population
- The size of the population doesn't matter -- only the size of the sample matters
- Sampling error: the bigger the sample, the smaller the error -- formula: 1 / square root of n, where n=sample size

* Reporting poll results
- Don't report unscientific polls
- Don't make a big deal about small differences/statistically insignificant results
- Beware of big error margins on subgroups
- Don't forget that a poll at best is a snapshot of the present, not a predictor of the future

* Estimating crowds
- Beware of the official estimate (on both sides)
- A better method:
1) Estimate the are in square feet (length X width)
2) Divide by:
-- 10 - for a loose crowd
-- 7.5 - for a tighter crowd
Try to account for turnover

SLA Notes: Copyright, International Style

Copyright, International Style
Tuesday -- June 7, 2005
1:30 - 3:00 P.M.

Laura Speer (Moderator) -- Swidler Berlin LLP
Fred Haber -- Copyright Clearance Center : how copyright is affecting libraries and business
Lesley Ellen Harris -- copyrightlaws.com: overview of international copyright
Kelly Gill -- Gowling Lafleur Henderson, Toronto; litigator of CCH Canadian Ltd. v. Law Society of Upper Canada on behalf of the Law Society: differences between U.S. and Canadian copyright and the repercussions

Lesley Ellen Harris:
There is no such thing as international copyright law, technically; countries set international/multinational parameters on copyright mostly via treaties
For works in a physical medium, the country that a work is being used in determines what copyright laws are in effect, regardless of the geographic origin of the work -- AKA national treatment

Berne Convention -- copyright treaty dating back to 1886; 159 countries have ratified/signed onto it. Berne consists mostly of a set of guidelines and minimum standards.

Among those minimum standards:
* Automatic copyright protection - i.e. no formalities (such as registration, renewals, fees) necessary
* Duration of copyright protection - minimum of life of the author + 50 years
* Exceptions to copyright - fair use/fair dealings exceptions allowed
* Protection of moral rights - vary among countries (ex. the U.S. only defines/explicitly protects moral rights for visual works)

Digital copyright: there aren't any set guidelines at the international level
How to determine which laws apply when the work is housed on servers in one country and the user is in a different one? There's no one answer, but governments are starting to write their own laws/guidelines into trade agreements

Online resources for international copyright:
World Intellectual Property Organization
Copyright Society of the United States of America

Kelly Gill:
CCH Canadian v. Law Society of Upper Canada (2004)
Three issues before the Supreme Court:
1) Was the work (Canadian case laws) being copied under copyright
2) Did the copying of these works constitute fair dealings
3) Did the presence of the standalone photocopiers provide inducement to violate copyright

The Supreme Court struck middle ground in the copyright of of case laws and other compilations between the European/UK standard and the US standard as to what qualifies for copyright protection

Europe/UKCanadaUnited States
"Sweat of the brow"
just the effort to compile the information
makes it eligible for copyright protection
skill and judgement"spark of creativity"

The Court also decided on fair dealings issues: found that "research" purposes is not limited to non-commercial research and that fair dealings are a user right

Fair usevs.Fair dealing
Applies to the actual end user, not 3rd parties which may have assisted the user in acquiring a copy Much broader than fair use - encompasses the whole scheme of acquisition (including 3rd parties)

Remaining questions regarding fair dealings:
Are the number of copies being made affecting the content owner?
How do we define fairness? There is no definition of what is fair in either the U.S. or Canada.
The existence of a license for the material isn't relevant to fair dealings
When knowledge of infringements come to the library, what should be the actions of the library?
How to determine what's fair and what's not (before being sued)?

Fred Haber:
How is copyright changing the digital world?

There are some solutions to the challenges of digital copyright, but none have been wildly successful.

Technology drivers of change

  • Digital dilemmas: perfect digital reproduction; elimination of distribution costs; no economies of scale

  • Increasing complexity: individual works may contain myriad rights, and be quite granular (ex.: anthologies, compilations, adaptations, etc.); changes in rights ownership over time; uses not anticipated at the time of creation

  • Increasing expectations of users: more speed; more access

    The Internet as a Library

    The Internet as a Communications Tool

    The Internet as a Democratizing Agent

    The Internet as a Source of Wealth

Legal challenges
Ownership: personal vs. corporate owners
Use: P2P sharing
Laws and directives changing copyright
Statutory vs. voluntary compliance

New laws of commerce:
Law of Inverse Pricing
Law of Plentitude
Law of Devolution

Two sets of problems and opportunities: one of content owners and one for content users (issues of access, Internet time; ease of use; decreased costs)

Barriers to entry for libraries
Developing infrastructure to exploit opportunity
Minimizing disruptions
Profiting from permissions

Current approaches to the copyright question:
* Give it away
* Lock it up
* Ostrict (i.e. ignore the situation until you're forced to confront it)
* Collective copyright management
- Remove barriers to entry
- Works with existing models
- Meet the customer
- Trust the customer

RROs - Reproduction Rights Organizations
* National to National
* National to International
* International to International
* International Federation of RROs

Future copyright issues
Harris: more treaties, more changes in law, more emphasis on licensing and contracts

June 14, 2005

SLA Notes: Tuesday's General Session

SLA General Session
Tuesday -- June 7, 2005
9:30 - 11:00 A.M.
Keynote speaker: Bill Buxton

Intros --

Juanita Richardson: read proclamation for Special Librarians' Week (June 3-8) in Toronto
Ethel Salonen: Annual Business Meeting starts at 5:15 today
Dave Brown - General Manager, Dialog & DataStar: intro to Bill Buxton

Keynote: Bill Buxton

Both content and design/technology are essential, but neither is sufficient

M. Kranzberg's Law: Technology is neither good nor bad. Nor is it neutral.
Buxton's corollary: without intentional design, technology will usually end up being bad
We MUST consider the social impact

Is the Information Revolution analogous to the Industrial Revolution? No way! The people who participated in the Industrial Revolution did not control it or its impact; they were, for good or ill, along for the ride.

The tail of technology cannot wag the dog of society and history did not begin with 1947.

The first major open source project: the first Oxford English Dictionary! It had the same distributed collaboration we now ascribe to open source.
Heterogeneous communication and collaboration are key, not the technology.

Technology is a prosthesis.

Bill's favourite blogger: Lewis Lapham (editor of Harper's Magazine)
A blog without trust is just a bunch of words

Alan Kay: It takes almost as much creativity to understand a good idea as it does to have the good idea in the first place
Buxton's corollary: Sometimes, more creativity is required to implement a good idea as to come up with it in the first place
Good ideas aren't precious and special, in fact they are dime-a-dozen.

Actually, we're not in an information revolution, but rather it's a data explosion. Data is not information until it informs and contributes to decision-making.
Putting books online doesn't automatically create or improve knowledge; the problems we already have with search with be magnified five-fold when the full text of books are mixed in

  Where is the wisdom we've lost in knowledge
    Where is the knowledge we've lost in information -- TS Eliot

  Where is the information we've lost in data
    Where is the data we've lost in noise -- Gale Moore

Book reading is going up, but what books are being read? What is the difference between books and documentation (which typically has a shelf life of 6 months)?

Reflecting on design:
There are 3 mirrors to reflect design -- motor-sensory, cognitive and social; the human is at the centre of this reflection

The future:
    The future is already here. (It's just not uniformly distributed.) -- William Gibson
Virtually any technology that's going to have a significant impact over the next 5-10 years has already been around 10 years. There is no deus ex machina.

The blackboard as innovation: the blackboard wasn't a technology change (it merely scaled up the slate writing board), but it is the biggest educational innovation we've seen so far.

There's been no real progress in computer innovation. What has changed:
processing speed
downward trend in expense
networking capability
Input/output (I/O) -- the most important -- how to transfer material from the physical world to the digital and vice versa

The general-purpose computer is insane. Again, human-centered perspective is key.

Former matrix of innovation/technology: tool/function/location
Everything (almost everything) that you're doing with a computer, you used to do with a pencil
Tools will become transparent and location will become important again, in Buxton's perfect world

Louis I. Khan - Thoughts exchanged by one another are not the same in one room as in another.
Buxton's corollary: This is true, whether person-to-person, person-to-machine or machine-to-machine
The Society of Appliances: appliances now have solo and interfaced functionality

Gaping holes/pet peeves
Current software development isn't focused on making computers easier to use for users
It isn't about the media (books, maps, music, photos), it's about learning

June 12, 2005

SLA Notes: Ten Top Tricks for News Libraries

Ten Top Tips
Tuesday -- June 6, 2005
7:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
News Division
Moderated by Judy Grisewald

Michael Meiners, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Tip #1: Combine archiving duties: photo and text archiving
Results in a more versatile staff
Less specialization
Cross-training may be needed

Jim Hunter, Columbus Dispatch
Tip #2: Everything changes except for the need to market the library and connect with users
The library has created a mini-orientation package for all new employees: a dictionary, a style guide, a library-generated notebook of tips & guidelines for new editorial employees and a coupon for one hour of training

Michele Melady, Canadian Broadcasting Company
Tip #3: Creating a kudos file - bragging about your accomplishments
Ephemeral/unsolicited compliments received via email are compiled and sent to managers and library staff: it proves institutional worth, is dead simple and cheap, raises morale, provides a quick snapshot of who your users are (and what services they request) AND is an emotional hairpat

Michael Jesse, The Star (Indianapolis, IN)
Tip #4: It's not a sing to tweak the archive; electronic archives aren't exact
Trying to get the electronic archive look exactly how the story looked in the paper can lead to time-wasting and unnecessary processes. Your microfilm is the official record of the paper, not your electronic archive.

Laura Weston-Elker, Fort Wayne News Sentinel
Tip #5: Look it up once and share it with your newsroom - leverage your intranet to share and distribute commonly sought information; develop internal indexes to help you find information faster

John Cronin, Boston Herald, Retired
Tip #6: Market the library to other divisions of the newspaper
When this was first broached for the Herald's library, Cronin was told that library services were only for the editorial department
With the onset of full-text, electronic archives and databases, the library staff had the time and resources to reach out to other departments, starting with advertising and moving to the office of the publisher. The most resistance to expanding library services came from editorial

Chris Hardesty, Newsday
Tip #7: Outsourcing photo repro service
Pictopia can handle photo reproduction services for news archives, with: * Links directly from the newspaper's website and the paper's web frame/skin for branding
* The company takes care of the e-commerce aspects
* Successful transactions are very quick and the library gets a commission from the paper's photos as well as wire products

Michael Knoop, San Antonio Express
Tip #8: Logging requests in a database
The database can be as simple as a spreadsheet, with migration to an actual database as the file grows. At SAE, it's now a dynamic page on the Internet.
* Handy for statistics, tracking subject trends and loyal users
* Useful for performance evaluations
* No copyrighted content in the database
* Categories must be uniform and maintained consistently

Jody Hayebab, Tampa Tribune/Tampa News Center
Tip #9: News researchers embedded with reporters/clients in the field
In order to effectively manage knowledge, you can't only be behind the reference desk; seeing what reporters do in the field can help you understand their needs. Being in the field can free up the reporter to do fieldwork, rather than on the phone to news research waiting for background

Debra Bade, Chicago Tribune
Tip #10: The Research Open House
Have a presence in newsrooms, go to news meetings and find ways to bring editorial into the library, such as open houses.
Extra tip: create a special info desk to serve newspaper subscribers as a premium benefit

SLA Notes: Click University Launch

Click University Launch
Monday -- June 6, 2005
3:00 - 3:30 PM
SLA Marketplace

SLA's Click University had its official launch party in the Info-Expo today. CU is an online professional development program, offered exclusively to SLA members. On hand to launch CU was:

Janice LaChance - SLA Executive Director - Janice discussed the feedback she got from members when she first joined the org. about the need for professional learning opportunities that did not require significant outlays of resources by individuals or their institutions.

Ethel Salonen - SLA President - Ethel emphasized SLA's commitment to professional learning and development, and thanked all of the contributors of the Professional Development fund.

John Lowery - SLA Staff - John detailed the current and future offerings of CU:
* 4 libraries with anywhere from 30-70 courses in the areas of Leadership/Management, Systems Development, Professional Development and Office Applications
* recordings of CE courses will be added, including Lesley Ellen Harris' course on digital licensing
* access to online books and journal articles will be provided by SLA's major sponsors, such as Elsevier
* online courses provided by Syracuse University and Drexel University for graduate credit, with a certificate program offered virtually through Syracuse

3 major contributors were also present:

Rita Vine -- workingfaster.com -- course contributor
Bruce Kingma -- Syracuse University
Davies Menffee -- Elsevier - content provider and donor of $60,000 to the Professional Development fund

SLA Notes: Monday's General Session

SLA Opening General Session
June 6, 2005
9:30 - 11:00 AM
Guest speaker: Don Tapscott, "The Naked Corporation"

Welcome film
(roving spotlights -- is Bono in the audience?)
Juanita Richardson - Chair, Conference Planning Committee
* Wealth of opportunity in the programming for this conference
* Thanks to all of the 2005 conference planners (and their employers), the SLA staff, Cindy Hill and Ethel Salonen, and the Toronto chapter
* June 3-8th, Special Librarians Week in the City of Toronto

Ethel Salonen - 2004/2005 President
* It's about impact
* 400 booths in the Info-Expo
* Click University to be launched today
* SLA President's Showcase: Dan Pink

Intro to Speaker - Elizabeth Rector, LexisNexis
Speaker - Don Tapscott

* Mom was a teacher and librarian for 30 years
* Book: The Naked Corporation: How the Age of Transparency Will Revolutionize Business

* We're in an emerging business: the transparency age
- Does transparency = disclosure? No, it's even more than disclosure
- There is unprecedented access to pertinent information about companies, within and outside of those firms
- Your value needs to be evident and your values need to be evident
* By embracing transparency and sharing pertinent information with stakeholders, companies can do really good things
* Special librarians can play an important role in helping companies embrace transparency

Drivers of Transparency:
- Digital access to information and new tools have made thing
- The internet is becoming a hypernet - ubiquitous connectivity to high-speed broadband; doors as info appliances
- "They should have called [the Blackberry] the Crackberry ..."
- Growing ambient intelligence
- Explosion in bandwidth: Plain Ole Telephone Service -> ISDN -> T1 -> T3 -> OC3 -> ...
- Wireless and RDID, WiMax
- Integration of servers
- The Internet is becoming a service platform, not just a medium
* Economic
Corporations are undergoing the biggest change in a century, since the peak of the industrial age; vertical integrations
- Transactional costs and collaboration were greater than
- The boundary of the corporation is becoming more porous
- Industrial age corp. -> Semi-porous corp. -> Business webs
* Demographic
- First generation to grow up digital - they are different
-- they use digital applications more seamlessly; it's not "technology" to them; it's like the air
- Boom - bust - echo: the society isn't aging, it's bifurcating; the echo is louder than the original
- Time is spent a lot less time watching TV
- First time that kids are authorities about something important; kids are lapping their parents on the information track
- N-Gen in the Workforce
-- new thinking on authority
-- new approaches to work
-- unprecedented mobility - loyal to their peers, the content of the work, but not to the company per se
- N-Gen as Consumers
-- They want options
-- They want customization
-- They want to change their minds
-- They want to try before they buy
-- Interactive relationships
-- The scrutinizers
* Socio-Political
- Global interdependence: tranparency all around the world
- The civil foundation on a global basis are on the rise
- Science and the knowable - exponential growth
- The corporate trust crisis

Obstacles to technology:
* Limits to knowledge
* Business value of secrets
* Deceit
* Privacy concerns
* Cost of openness
* Transparency literacy
* Fear of litigation
* Risk - vulnerability
* Transparency fatigue (choice/values overload)
* Geopolitical context

Librarians are part of why we have transparency, but companies tend to improvise as to who gets information

5 classes of stakeholders
1. Employees
- companies that share info with employees get all sorts of bennies: increase loyalty, decrease office politics, increase collaboration
- rethinking knowledge mgmt (which has been unsuccessful): containerized like a finite resource, internal; collaboration and across the web, instead
2. Business partners: transparencies in the supply chain, between partners
3. Customers
4. Shareholders - they know more now; 60 years ago, some companies didn't open their books to stockholders
- Shareholder activism: from passive to active investors
- The integrity premium
- Governance premium
5. Communities - companies can scrutinize communities and vice versa

Stakeholder Webs - the embodiment of transparency

Corporate Values
Honesty, consideration, accountability, openness -- the foundation of trust

Corporate values can build trust, which builds relationships which build value

The new business integrity -- sustainability models

Honesty - better visibility; single version of the truth
Consideration - understanding customers' interest; enterprise planning
Accountability - effective scorecarding
Openness - Better, more accurate reporting, valid non-financial info; supply chain transparency; internal info portals

Crises of leadership

Paradigm shifts are scary
Paradigm shifts can be met with indifference, mockery and outright hostility
Those with vested interests tend to fight the hardest

SLA Notes: News Division Vendors' Roundtable

News Division Vendor's Roundtable
Monday -- June 6, 2005
7:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
Convention Centre 104-C
Moderated by Leigh Poitinger

Bill Bear, Director of Marketing for ChoicePoint PRG [CP]
Chuck Backus, VP of Product Management for LexisNexis [LN/A]
Doug Roesemann, President of the ReferenceUSA Division of InfoUSA [LN/R]

Q&A: Items in italics are comments and questions from the audience and moderator

What kinds of sources are used for data and how is it verified/be corrected?

LN/R: Started with white pages in the 1970s, now includes credit records, voter reg, student lists, active bank cards, mail order buyers, redeemers of warranty cards, magazine subscribers, and in-house business surveys; news libraries can
CP: There can be issues with the frequency of updates of government-derived information; errors can be reported to the company
LN/A: You can report errors to the company AND it will try to find out the source of the error to correct upstream

LN/R: There has been issues of being able to keep up with cell phone #s

I've heard that public records won't be updated on Nexis.com and updates are only available on Accurint.

LN/A - No ... there will be an integration of public records between the Nexis and Accurint platforms, so the most current records will be available in both sets of products, but the updating will take place within Accurint modules.

Is journalistic use of public record products in danger of evaporating due to changing definitions of appropriate use?

CP: There will continue to be public records products for journalists to use
LN/A: However, there might be less data available if the customer doesn't fit the "permissible use" definition (law enforcement, credit verification)

We don't use SSNs/DLs, but we really need the SSNs/DLs to use as unique identifiers.

LN/R: We're also starting to provide cell phone #s to our "Fine" module for RefUSA

We have been burned by rapidly changing rate structure and vanishing product functionality/features; also, there's has been uneven support and there has been a lack of risk assessment in some instances of sales reps assisting customers in the area of permissible use.

LN/A: We realize that the law is locking down the definitions of acceptable use, and we're trying to work with our

Is there any hope of getting a specific "journalistic use" category?/

LN/A: It would take lobbying on Capitol Hill to add to federal legislation

Can you help us keep track of federal and state legislation in this area, perhaps with a newsletter?

CP: We'll look into it

We've lost some economical features, which has resulted in a price increase for our usage.

LN/A: The restrictions are likely to get tighter
LN/R: What features would you like to see?

Vendors have been very tight-lipped about their products; also, what kind of tweakings may be done behind the scenes that can affect what information is available, because we're seeing there's less harder-to-find info (like cell phone #) and we're not sure why ...

CP: We're working on providing more information
LN/R: As people are using less landlines, telephone numbers are getting lost, but the Fine module of RefUSA
LN/A: The phone number issue will get harder, not only because of the landline/cell transition, but also because people are now able to port their numbers to new providers, new locations, etc.

Why are there missing or wrong area codes?

CP: Wholesale changes/redistribution of area codes, lack of updating by the source agencies.

The currency of information is very unreliable; why can't you add a 'last-updated' tag to all modules/products?

CP: We're working on it
LN/R: We're NOT going to be updating our products with such a tag

We had to re-credential and provide bank account info on the application, which doesn't fly for some orgs; also, media was missing as an acceptable use.

CP: There should be an updated application available.

What other changes should we anticipate regarding public-records legislation?

CP: We're keeping on top of that and we don't expect anything immediately to come to the fore.

In California, there's spotty court coverage; plus, courts are starting to put up their own gateways for online court info -- how does that effect public records gathering?

CP: It's very tough to get info, especially at the sub-state (county, municipal court) level; currency/updating is a big issue

LN/A: Similarly, it's difficult to provide "last updated" metadata for composite products; at the individual file level, it's easier; but for irregular sources or "dirty" data, it'll take a while to clean it up for use/access within the products

You're fairly upfront about mistakes in the database; however, we're being pushed onto web interfaces or new product interfaces that are "less" than what we're already using and are proficient with.

How often do you do audits? Do you see a time when customers will have been be licensed/vetted to get access to the products?

CP: We do random and periodic audits; the security of passwords and IDs are likely to get tighter
LN/A: We're doing more audits than we used to, which is actually problematic -- some customers don't want to tell us what they're doing; also, the refreshing of IDs and passwords are going to get tougher.

June 11, 2005

SLA Conference: Copyright Roundtable

This was simply a roundtable of people sharing their experiences regarding copyright within their organizations. Most of the librarians worked for membership associations in the U.S. or Canada; others were university or government librarians. There was a digitization consultant there, as well as one oddball creature who works for a place where they give any content they have away (i.e., me).

Some of the librarians present not only contend with issues from acquiring outside content for in-house use but also oversee the distribution of their assn's copyrighted content to institutional members or outside clients. There were no "Eureka" moments, although some ideas were tossed around. The closest concepts that came to consensus were that:

1) Librarians are pretty much the copyright police for in-house use of content (as summed up by Jill Hurst-Wahl).
2) There's a disconnect between what end-users say they understand about copyright and what they really think are within the bounds of usage when they really want to acquire and/or share information with their colleagues.

Oh, and I learned something for a colleague: U.S. federal documents are in the public domain ... for U.S. citizens, residents, etc. only. I had no idea.


Association Information Services Caucus
Roundtable: Copyright and Licensing in Association Libraries in the Digital Age
Sunday -- June 5, 2005
Fairmont Royal York
6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Moderated by Megan Galaida

Types of organizations represented:

Focus - how libraries distribute licensed content and the process for acquiring licenses

There are issues for copyright fees per copy for material acquired through document delivery for for-profit companies; having to remind users that they cannot make unlimited copies of all articles.

When a library transitions from print journals to digital/e-journals, switching licenses can result in larger costs.

'You can only have one copy: it can be paper or it can be electronic, but it can only be one copy'

University licenses: may have "walk-in" patrons added as part of a license, but some products are exclusively for affiliated parties (faculty, staff and students)

Some orgs parse informations to different members

Problems with compliance: people aren't connecting the principles of a copyright policy to the practice

DRM issues -- problems with plug-ins and accessibility impaired by DRM

Everything is negotiatable -- it shouldn't be/isn't a take-it-or-leave-it situation to acquire/license content

How open is vendor data/terms and conditions of contracts? Would it be possible to get contract details for public institutions (like state universities) via FOIA requests?

Back from SLA

I'm back from Toronto and my feet seem to be recovering quite well.

I had a blast. Met lots of new people, learned lots of new things (for instance, I managed to learn math at 7 am and 10:30 pm), picked up too many toys. The host city was great (although the heat/humidity seemed to boggle tourist and native alike) and the conference planning was well done but by no means perfect: the biggest complaint was that all of the rooms, except for the big 1st floor hall where the keynotes were held, were too small. We were somewhat packed like sardines at the more popular sessions--the crowds for Mary Ellen Bates and the blogging/RSS sessions flowed out their respective doors--and until Wednesday afternoon, the only meetings I attended that weren't full to bursting were the business meetings.

I took notes ... as is my style, they are somewhat detailed and quite raw. They are not comprehensive, unfortunately, but I think I got most of the pertinent discussions/points. I will be posting them, hopefully during the rest of this weekend -- some need some HTML touch-ups and some need transcribing (my 14" iBook got heavy after a few hours in the exhibit hall everyday). If I missed something important and you were there, feel free to comment.

Also, I contributed to the SLA conference blog, so if you check it out if you want more of a feel about the conference and its workings.

Overall, I'm looking forward to Baltimore next year.

June 02, 2005

More change

I have a confession to make: I've been holding back on many of you. Some may wonder why I haven't posted about my adventures in the job market, how it feels to be a newbie librarian, what I plan to do after I leave the Archive.

Well, basically, I've been hustling and thinking and tearing my hair out and crossing various t's and i's. All to the ends that I'm going to become a student again, shortly. Specifically, a law student at Santa Clara University, focusing on intellectual property.

I'm not doing this to become a law librarian (although that's not to say I will turn down any offers). I want study and practice the law on behalf of libraries and librarians. It's a part-time, evening program (but not virtual), so I hope to work in a library some hours of the week.

It'll be new and cool and probably one of the hardest things I'll ever do. My memberships to ALA, SLA and maybe one or two more associations will be maintained. When introduced, I will still identify myself as a librarian. My business cards aren't changing yet. And this blog will continue to be my take on library issues, although I'll obviously talk a lot about legal issues that effect libraries. But not exclusively (I think).

At the end of it all, I hope to contribute to librarianship in some small way. And I believe that this avenue is the best way to do it.